A crucial figure in Italian post-war art, Marinella Pirelli left behind a unique body of work, including painting, drawing, moving image, light environments and experimental cinema. With a career spanning more than fifty years, Pirelli's artistic efforts and unquestionable talent are still surprisingly under-recognised. Her approach–both incredibly personal, and avant-garde–has meant that Pirelli has avoided many definable schools and currents, although remaining in contact with the best of contemporary creativity of her time. Marinella was at this time particularly close to the artists Carla Accardi, Jannis Kounellis, Luciano Fabro, Bruno Munari and the important feminist theorist, Carla Lonzi. She was one of the few Italian woman artists working in experimental film and her works traverse numerous thematics connected to the body, the gaze and the relationship with the cinema apparatus/projection event.
Marinella Pirelli passed away at the age of 84 years in 2009. In the final years of her life, Pirelli had retrospectives at the Chiostro di Voltorre, Varese (1999), at Villa Panza, Varese and at the Museo de Arte Moderna, São Paulo (2003), at La Permanente, Milan (2005). Spanning more than fifty years, Pirelli's artistic efforts are still surprisingly under recognised though her recent retrospective at Museo del Novecento in Milan (2019) has brought her back under the spotlight. She was awarded numerous prizes, including the FEDIC - Italian Cineclub Federation Award (1964); and the 57th Michetti Award - Italian Lab (2006).